LANSDOWNE

SYMPHONY

ORCHESTRA

Strauss Fledermaus Overture Program Notes

Strauss’s  Fledermaus  has  a  convoluted  plot  with  many  comedic  opportunities.  Prince  Orlofsky  is  throwing  a  ball  (in  the  original  version  it  was  to  be  a  New  Year’s  party),  and  there  are  all  sorts  of  ploys  at  hand.    The  character  Falke  is  trying  to  visit  revenge  on  his  friend,  Eisenstein,  who,  in  the  night  of  a  costume  party,  had  left  Falk,  drunk  and  disoriented,  in  the  center  of  town.    Falk  was  dressed  as  a  bat,  thus  the  operetta’s  title.  Conspiring  with  Eisenstein’s  wife,  Falk  has  arranged  for  her  to  attend  the  ball  disguised  as  an  alluring  Hungarian  noblewoman.    Eisenstein  is  completely  enchanted,  haplessly  so.    Near  the  end  of  the  party,  the  clock  strikes  six  AM  (who  goes  to  such  parties?!)  which  we  hear,  anticipated  in  the  overture,  and  Eisenstein  has  to  rush  off  to  serve  a  prison  sentence,  since  he  had  insulted  a  minor  official...it’s  a  complicated  plot,  but  ends  with  forgiveness  for  all.